Series: Break the Bank (1985)

The third of three different Game Shows with this name, from Kline & Friends, was syndicated from 1985-86. Married couples played in this format, competing for time to play an elaborate Bonus Round. In this round, the winning couple participates in various timed stunts; completing a stunt won a punch card which could be used to help "break the Bank" and win a cash jackpot.

It was Gene Rayburn's last series on broadcast TV; Joe Farago replaced him fourteen weeks into the run.

Game Show Tropes in use:

  • Bonus Round: The Prize Vault, which originally used stunts but was later replaced by the Master Puzzle. The Bank in and of itself is a sort of Bonus-Bonus Round.
  • Confetti Drop: Any time the Bank was broken.
  • Game Show Winnings Cap: During the Stunt era, couples could stay until reaching $75,000 or were defeated, with any winnings over that amount being donated to charity. Upon the inception of the Master Puzzle, couples retired upon breaking the Bank, with the same winnings limit in place. (The credits said the $75,000 cap was "network policy", even though this version aired in syndication.)
    • This was, in fact, true. Since some of the stations the show was syndicated to were network owned and operated, the shows on them had to follow the same rules, including the winnings limits at the time. This happened once on The Jokers Wild, where the show, for the one time only, had to retire their champion after exceeding the limit.
  • Personnel:
  • Show The Folks At Home: A hint for the subject of the pre-bonus round puzzles, using the "category reveal" sound from Tic-Tac-Dough.
  • Whammy:
    • During the Master Puzzle era, one of the Bank Cards (now lined up on a podium near the Bank itself) was actually a Bankrupt Card. If it was inserted into the Bank slot, it took away any prizes the contestants had already been awarded from any Bank Cards inserted that day.
    • In addition, the Bankrupt Card remained in the Bank Card selection on every show, regardless of whether it had been inserted into the Bank slot. At least in theory, a couple could narrow down their choice of Bank Cards to the Bank-Breaking Card and the Bankrupt Card.

This version provides examples of: